Challenges & principles of the new Ethiopian labor law

Metassebia Hailu Zeleke by Metassebia Hailu ZelekeDecember 26, 2019 in AfricaEthiopiaLabourLegislation

Ethiopia issued a new labor proclamation on the 5th day of September 2019.

This new piece of legislation replaces a proclamation that has been in charge for almost 16 years since 2003. The new Proclamation, which is named as “Labor Proclamation No. 1156/2019” has different principles stated in the proclamation itself. The main principles are;

  • To ensure that employee-employer relations are governed by basic principles of rights and obligations with a view of enabling to ascertain durable industrial piece;
  • To create sustainable productivity and competitiveness through cooperative engagement towards the all round development of the country;
  • To lay down a working system that guarantees the rights of the employee and employer in order to freely create their respective associations and engage through their legal representatives; and
  • To draw up procedures for the expeditious settlement of labor disputes

Of course, the proclamation also intends to create favorable environment for investment and the achievement of economic goals that is designed at state level. However, this issue needs serious examination by considering the amended provisions vis-à-vis the challenges of investors in the Ethiopian investment climate. We will see details in our subsequent posts.

Metassebia Hailu Zeleke
Metassebia Hailu Zeleke

Metassebia Hailu Zeleke is a PhD Student in African Studies specializing in Citizenship and Mobility in Africa at Addis Ababa University. He is from Law background and currently operating as Consultant & Attorney-at-Law by serving as a legal counselor to different corporate entities, foreign investors and international law firms. By now, he is Vice President of the Ethiopian Lawyers Association and also serving as Editorial Board Chairman of the peer-reviewed “Ethiopian Bar Review” Journal as well as editorial team chairman of the Ethiopian Lawyers’ voice called temuagach “ተሟጋች” newsletter. He is also serving as Management Board member in different organizations including the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise. He is also a part-time instructor at Unity University. Internationally, he is serving as a Research Fellow to the China-Africa Legal Research Center and a Consultant to the China Center for Legal Diplomacy. He has also different international recognition including appointment of “Ambassador for Peace” by the Universal Peace Federation (2011), recipient of a fellowship program at the Law School of Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing, 2014), recipient of the China-Africa Lawyers Exchange Program (Beijing, 2014) and recipient of the Young International Lawyers Program by International Bar Association (Tokyo, 2014). He can be reached through or +251-911-636064


Email: Metassebia Hailu is a Consultant & Attorney-at-Law (Ethiopia) Ph.D. Student (Center for African & Oriental Studies - Addis Ababa University)